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A Guide to Tampa and the Spanish-American War: 2nd New York Volunteer Infantry Photo Album

Finding aid created by Jason Zappulla

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections

May 2020



Descriptive Summary

Title: Tampa and the Spanish-American War: 2nd New York Volunteer Infantry Photo Album
Dates: 1898
Abstract: This photo album is a collection of photographs of soldiers with the 2nd New York Volunteer Infantry, recruited for the Spanish-American War, and serving at Camp Black, New York; Tampa, Florida, Fernandina, Florida; and Troy, New York.
Extent: .01 Linear Feet. 1 album.
Identification: MSS 0565
Language(s): English

Biographical/Historical Note

During the brief Spanish-American War, Tampa served as a point of departure for troops heading to Cuba. By far the most famous of this group was the Rough Riders under Colonel Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt, but several others regiments from across the country were also stationed in Tampa. Some, including the Rough Riders, were shipped off to Cuba after long delays due to disease and lack of transports. Others, including the 2nd New York Regiment, never shipped out due to the end of the war, and were instead sent back north and eventually mustered out. During their stay in Tampa, the officers and civilians were headquartered at the Tampa Bay Hotel (now the University of Tampa), while the soldiers were stationed in seven camps. The photos in this album show an encampment at the former location of Fort Brooke. The site was near the mouth of the Hillsborough River, west of where the Tampa Bay History Center stands today.

Sources:

The Spanish-American War in Tampa Bay by Alejandro M. de Quesada

"Tampa, Florida: Its Role in the Spanish American War""(doctoral thesis) by William John Schellings


Scope and Content

This photo album is a collection of photographs of soldiers with the 2nd New York Volunteer Infantry, recruited for the Spanish-American War, and serving at Camp Black, New York; Tampa, Florida, Fernandina, Florida; and Troy, New York. Photos show Company "L" from Saratoga Springs, New York. Among the men identified in the album are the commander, Captain (later Colonel) E.E. Hardin, and members of the company Hiram C. Todd, John K. Walbridge and Benjamin K. Walbridge, Winsor P. French, Harry F. Thomas, Frank A. Burd, Frederick P. McNair, Don A. Epler, Jacob R. Ditmars, and William J. Searing. There are 203 photos, mostly small and of varying quality. They show sick soldiers resting in hammocks, troops bathing, camp scenes, and local landmarks like the Tampa Bay Hotel; also pictures of the entire camp at Fernandina. Of the 32 members of the New York 2nd Volunteers Regiment who died of disease, 8 members were from Company L, and a few of those deceased can be seen in the photos prior to their deaths.

The history of the regiment, and information about men who served in it, can be found in Our County and Its People: A Descriptive and Biographical Record of Saratoga County, New York (1899). Several men identified in photos went on to significant careers back in Saratoga Springs: For example, Corporal Hiram C. Todd became a prominent lawyer and District Attorney for the Northern District of New York, Private Winsor P. French was the father of Cleveland Press society columnist Winsor French, Sergeant John K. Walbridge was a publisher and served as Treasurer of Saratoga County, and Benjamin K. Walbridge served as an attorney and argued cases before the Supreme Court of New York.


Access or Use Restrictions

Access

The collection is open for research.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Tampa and the Spanish-American War: 2nd New York Volunteer Infantry Photo Album, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

Purchased from Michael Brown Rare Books.


Selected Subjects and Access Terms

2nd Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry (1898)
Armed Forces -- Military life.
Florida -- Fernandina.
Florida -- Tampa.
Military history.
New York (State).
photographs
Spanish-American War (1898).




For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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